August 24 Reviews / The desert island 10

Another steaming fresh batch of reviews and podcasts this week. Feel free to talk about them, or not.

Thought I'd kick off a topic for discussion this week again, since it hasn't been done in awhile. The desert island question has been kicked around a lot in terms of individual releases, but I'm going to expand on it a bit. What if you could take the work of only 10 artists with you. You can take as many albums as you want for each artist/group, but only ten total artists/groups. If you choose an artist/band who is still making music now, your list includes all theoretical music they make in the future. Mine are inside...

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Jimi Hendrix
The Beatles
Bob Dylan
Acid Mothers Temple
Public Enemy
Sigur Ros

Jimi Hendrix
The Beatles
Bob Dylan
Acid Mothers Temple
Public Enemy
Sigur Ros

re: tristan

I'd rather go for any Pantera album in exchange for the whole metallica discography.

Mike Patton doesn't seem to be very inspired lately but I'd probably take everything he's been involved in as you've got plenty material in there. would be nice to take bubbachups acid mothers temple suggestion and add some Fantomas and Mr. bungle.

James Brown, anybody?

"Re: Would be interesting to know which artists/bands you would bring to this room."

If I was getting trapped in a room for indefinite time I'd ask for 9 artist's albums and a guitar (or just about any instrument but let's go for guitar). I'd then learn and practice every day until I could replicate their exact riffing and style.

I'd choose:

Manuel Goettsching
Gabor Szabo
Atahualpa Yupanqui
Radiohead (Johnny Greenwood)
Baden Powell
John Fahey
Bill Frisell
Django Reinhardt!? (a challenge)
Pink Floyd (Gilmour)

Speaking of John Fahey, did you noticed the influence on the grails album? I sense a lot of fahey, ghost and Faust influences, even some lalo schifrinn in there on bad bhang recipe.

I'm amazed nobody mentioned Metallica so far. Come on, guys!

I'd go for :

- Godspeed
- Explosions in the sky
- Mogwai
- Bright Eyes
- Metallica
- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
- Iron & Wine
- Kyuss
- Herman Düne (these guys don't seem very known in the US. They rule. Franco-Swedish, kind of hippy-folk. Absolutely brilliant.)
- Sufjan Stevens

in no particular order:

(1) piano magic
(2) slowdive
(3) nine inch nails
(4) the god machine
(5) the gathering
(6) devin townsend (including syl & stuff)
(7) kronos quartet
(8) dead can dance
(9) j.s. bach
(10) isis

Maybe you can take the desert island concept to a higher abstraction level where it is not so much the island that matters but more the fact of being isolated from civilization. Maybe you've seen the Korean movie Oldboy where a guy gets locked into a room and doesn't know where, why or for how long? He ends up being locked away for 15 years without any human contact. This story clearly features a desert island concept and might be more suitable for hip hop, given that the room clearly is situated in a metropolitan area. Would be interesting to know which artists/bands you would bring to this room. :)

pretty tough as it was difficult to leave of bjork and my bloody valentine...

sigur ros
aphex twin
belle and sebastian
the smiths
okkervil river

I haven't come up with mine yet, as the whole desert island theme kindof throws me. I like alot of the hip hop, but listening to Aesop Rock on a desert island...I dunno. Context context. I think I would have to dig into the jazz and electronica collection for this one...

1) Tom Waits
2) Elvis Costello
3) Leonard Cohen
4) Outkast
5) PJ Harvey
6) The National
7) The Constantines
8) Radiohead
9) Bjork
10)Modest Mouse

1.velvet underground
2.miles davis
6.tom waits
8.the supremes
9.william basinski

"I would take Acid Mothers Temple with me and turn into a total freak out psychopath. A one man's Apocalypse Now.
Then, after having killed all animals and eaten them raw I would put on Anthony & the Johnsons and cry for 6 months on end in complete selfish melodrama. "Hope There's Someone" would be fitting." - bubbhachups

That fucking rules.

Alright here goes

1. Love Supreme - Coltrane
2. London Calling - Clash
3. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
4. All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
5. Kid A - Radiohead
6. () - Sigur Ros
7. White 2 - Sunn 0)))
8. Relative Sound of the Ultimate - Monks of Palpung Sherab Ling Monastery
or Sacred Music, Sacred Dance - Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery (hey, I love me some monks chanting and if I am on a desert island I am really going to need to do some serious fucking meditation to make peace with the void)
9. Boris - At Last Feederback
10. GYBE - Lift Your Skinny Fist...

BTW, 10 sucks. I need to take some AMT too and some Tibetan Bowl music. So there, I hid a couple cds down my pants.

This is an impossible list to make...I gave it a shot.In no particular order:

4.Thelonius Monk
6.The Beatles
7.Aesop Rock
8.Fiery Furnaces
10.Ludwig Van B.

set fire to flames
polmo polpo
dirty three (the first four albums)
dat politics
a northern chorus
do make say think

Mrs. Almost Cool
-Fela Anikulapo Kuti
-Captain Beefheart (as one essayist in the Greil Marcus book "Stranded" points out, a desert island would the ideal place to listen to the Captain...nobody else would be around to complain).
-The Rolling Stones
-Bo Diddley
-Talking Heads
-Yo la tengo
-Velvet Underground
-Augustus Pablo
-Bruce Springsteen

Geez, I think some of y'all are going to need to bring prozac with you to your desert islands, to counter-act all the sad sack music!


aphex twin
boards of canada

david bowie
nick drake

I think the new Grails album is fantastic! As I said earlier, itís very dark, but itís much more sophisticated than you would expect. As a whole the album has a very dense atmosphere, but underneath the sound is very diverse. Sometimes you hear mesmerizing, repetitive riffs like Om, but after that might come a piece that sounds like James Blackshaw. Or Kammerflimmer Kollektief or even Mountains! Sure, those are only small parts of the album, but theyíre there very clearly! So this is much more than your average badass monster riff album. I think this is one of the most interesting albums Iíve come across this year that has a quite original sound to it. My only complaint could be that because itís so varied it might be hard to get a grip on it. For me the cohesive atmosphere pulls everything together, but for someone who is looking for monster riffs only it might be a complicated album to handle.

after much thought, I'm still gonna cheat a little (not necessarily my absolute favourites, but you forced me into a corner, and if you're not gonna let me take everything I need, I might not play next time!!):

Cocteau Twins;
Miles Davis;
anything featuring Matthew Bower and/or Marcia Bassett (so many solo works, group projects, collaborations and appearances);
The Associates;
Acid Mothers Temple (and about a million extensions);
The Fall;
Sonic Youth

Hey bubbachups, how is that new Grails? I read your mention of it and listened to some clips at the Important Records website and they sound badasstastic. I was thinking of getting the recent Larsen ("Seies") as well as some point in the near future, so maybe I'll have to pick both of those up if you convince me the Grails is worth having as well. :)

My high school band covered "Green Machine" by Kyuss. Good times.

I think everyone has a couple of crazy, rather stupid dreams and for the last couple of years one of mine has been to cross the Atlantic Ocean, on my own in a small sail boat with nothing more than a guitar and some recording gear and to make an album. The problem is though, I donít sail and I donít play guitar or any other instrument for that matterÖ. Iíve come up with pretty stupid thoughts and ideas over the years, but this one must be the stupidest of them all.

Maybe I should go to a desert island first for a couple of years to learn how to play guitar and then sail the ocean to record an album. This has Bas Jan Ader written all over it Iím afraidÖ.

Well, enough of that nonsense. I must say Iím pretty fond of the Cursillistas album that Time-Lag has just put out and also the Grails album that was just released by Important Records. The Cursillistas album features very lovely folk songs with lots of cheerful details and hushed vocals. Black Tar Prophecies by Grails that was just released on Important Records is being described as "Heavy Metal Fahey". Very interesting album that builds up its songs really well without ever getting into a drag or anything. Itís dark but still very sophisticated and almost elegant. Both of course have the whole MySpace thing going so you can check out some of their songs.

i considered bringing along the beatles as well and i'm not sure why i didn't list them. would be good for bringing my mood up, and they have an exhaustive amount of songs to listen to.
velvet underground, some of their stuff i love (generally their quieter songs), some of the rest just kind of bores me. nevertheless, they would be a good choice as well.
yo la tengo is a good one as well, to those who mentioned them below.

"And The Circus Leaves Town" is pretty good too, they tried to branch out more using reggae influenced structures and a lot more trippy sounding guitar. But I have to say not nearly as good as "..Sky Valley", or "Blues For The Red Sun"

Welcome to Sky Valley is definitely my favorite, though Blues From a Red Sun was the one that turned me on. I was way into psychedelic rock and metal but Kyuss was the first band that I heard that combined the two (I guess a case can be made for Sabbath doing it a decade earlier).
I saw them back in '95 at a tiny club that they blew the roof off. Swirling fuzzed out amps in that small room made for a transcendent listening experience. I don't know much of the third record, is it good?
BTW, just kidding 'bout that Radiohead jab.

Ive been told that already about Radiohead!, so I might have to tone it down.

Kyuss were amazing, there has never been another band who could touch them and their sound, although thousands have tried. Wish I had got to see them on stage though. What's your favourite album?, mine is "Welcome To Sky Valley".

Michael, I'm revisiting my Kyuss albums again and fucking loving them. Forgot how great they were. Could never get into Queens of the Stone AGe though. Everything about Kyuss is the shit... their kickass guitar tones, that badass giant, natural drum sound, the goofy lyrics (praise to them for not taking themselves so seriously, which is an anomoly in the heavy music world) and their gorgeous live analog recordings.

Though, gots to say that your Radiohead obsession may be a little unhealthy... you think?

I've thought long and hard about this and my 10 desert island artists would be....

Radiohead - I am just totally obsessed with them, I don't know what my life would be like without their music. Saw them for a fifth time last week

Mogwai - one of the greatest bands on the planet, but their recorded output just isn't as good as their live show.

Hungry Ghosts - I just can't get enough of their music, it is so melancholic.

Kyuss - Before Josh Homme was famous, he was in this band. One of the heaviest groups you will ever hear

Godspeed You Black Emperor - they have an amazing recorded output, and also the myriad of side-projects and experimental groups too.

Sigur Ros- ( ) is one of my all time favourite albums, I listen to this at least once a week. "Takk" is pretty damn excelent too.

Nick Cave - a latecomer to this man's music, only in the last 6 months have I understood just what a genius he is.

Port-Royal - "Flares" is an absolutley stunning album, I cannot wait to see what these guys do next

Explosions In The Sky - anytime Ive seen this band live, it has been so intense, also "Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean" is a beautiful song

Aphex Twin- some very obscure pieces of music, but then there are also some absolute gems too

I was going to make it 5 because I thought nobody would respond. Then I decided that was far too evil (and I couldn't narrow mine down very well).

As with all threads, this one will be open for two weeks, so feel free to pop back on and post any time. I've had fun reading them so far.

just 10??!!
this needs some serious thought

isis:: have yet to be disappointed in anything they have released.
cheap trick:: just for the first three albums though .
led zeppelin:: soundtrack to my youth
hot snakes:: then they would be together again.
fugazi:: 'nuf said
the cure:: so many discs,so much quality.
antony and the johnsons:: for my mellow moods
peter gabriel:: he would only be allowed to play stuff from genesis and his first 4 albums though.
talking heads:: echoing your comments
elvis costello:: just to piss him off and make him angry again!

dixie chicks
sir richard bishop
the durutti column
lee hazlewood
spirit caravan
ash ra tempel
don cherry
king tubby
terry riley

Marked are the most essential IMO.

* Aphex Twin
* Bob Marley
Cafe Tacuba
The Cure
**THE BEATLES (who could forget this?!)
Luke Vibert
* Eric Clapton
* David Bowie

I would take Acid Mothers Temple with me and turn into a total freak out psychopath. A one man's Apocalypse Now.

Then, after having killed all animals and eaten them raw I would put on Anthony & the Johnsons and cry for 6 months on end in complete selfish melodrama. "Hope There's Someone" would be fitting.

At that point Iím probably dead already. If not, I still have 8 artists or groups left luckily at my disposal. After having buried the complete Acid Mothers Temple collection safely under the ground and having fed Anthony to the fish I can finally start enjoying myself on this godforsaken island. Hereís what Iíll bring:

Yo La Tengo
Otis Redding
Red House Painters
The Books
Cannonball Adderley

Depeche Mode - they rocked my teenage years and most of their albums are killers

The Cure - same thing as DM

New Order / Joy Division - lots of good stuff and tons of great melodies

Nick Cave and the Bad seeds - it may be a bit depressing on a desert island, but I'll take them anyway

Björk - all her back catalogue? Well she is pushing it a little bit too far with all her re-release stuff... but her albums are great

Radiohead - 6 album plus a lot of astonishing b-sides

Boris Vian - well he oficially release only one album in the 60's but he wrote 500 songs for other people. Can I take them all on my desert island?

Georges Brassens - 400 ++ songs in his back catalogue. That should make it.

Pierre Lapointe - so beautiful I'll include him in my list, even though he has only release 2 albums

Jean Leloup - as I said before, he's the genius from Québec (no, Canada is'nt just GYBE)

I'll just go with what I have the most of in my collection by one artist

Neil Young
Black Sabbath
John Coltrane
Loren Connors
Sun Ra
Velvet Underground
Zoviet France (tip: listen to Loh Land, it'll make you question the originality of Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2)
Dead C
Spaceman 3

The Beach Boys
Frederic Chopin
Alice Coltrane
Miles Davis
Bob Dylan
Brian Eno
Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares
Thelonious Monk
Dmitri Shostakovich
Stevie Wonder

Wait change Red House Painters for Bach, I think I would miss him eventually.

I'd rather be in a desert mountain or floating in a space hubble than a desert island if possible...

(art blakey, interesting choice, I've just been introduced to his work two months ago so I'm not sure I'd place him in my collection of desert island thing but I'll consider it)

Brian Eno (and every album he has ever collaborated to, specially Souvlaki by Slowdive)
Tom Waits
Claude Debussy
Erik Satie
Red House Painters
Janis Joplin
My bloody Valentine
Aram Kachaturian

5 for Dead C!!!!! WTF?! You have to remember that their brilliant Harsh 70s Reality was released the same year as Slanted and Enchanted and set the stage for all that was to follow in both lo-fi indie, experimental and noise. Plus if those songs (the ones that are songs) don't rip your guts out then I question your humanity. I gotta agree with Weis. Dissing on that is like dissing on the Velvet Underground.

Dylan was close to making my list as well. I'm not sure why. Perhaps some of his not-so-good stuff rubbed me a bit more wrongly than some of the other artists on my list who have done not-so-good stuff.

Another person that almost made the list is Johnny Cash, but his output just isn't quite as varied as some of the others I listed, and I can still get a healthy dose of hellfire and brimstone coupled with massive introspection from Nick Cave.

Re: GYBE below... feel free to include as you see fit. It's your island man! Of course, if you included all the side projects of GYBE, it might involve 50% of all Canadian artists. Heh.

Chris L
James Brown (of course)
Velvet Underground (0f course)
Bob Dylan
The Clash
Lee Perry
Van Morrison
Neil Young
Brian Eno (of course)
The Walkabouts
Yo la Tengo
Would it be allowed to include Lou Reed's solo stuff with the Velvets? If I was going to include something more recent I'd probably choose Neotropic or Landing but they haven't got that many albums.

I actually knew the New Zealand thing and then wrote it incorrectly in my review. What was I thinking? At any rate, thanks for the reminder.

BTW, Dead C are TOTALLY from New Zealand, not Australia! They kickstarted the legendary New Zealand experimental rock sound.

O.k. 'nuff with my Dead C missionary work.

A friend burned me a copy of Whitehouse and Trap Fucking Door Exit and a solo project called Gate. Honestly, my first reaction was, "shite...retarded...a mess". I put it on the shelf and during a culling period two years later I thought I'd take a listen before I tossed them out.
Well, I was blown away! I don't know what happened in those two years but they seemed to age well or for some reason I just "got it", especially the Gate project (you can't really appreciat e those early Labradford, Gastr Del Sol and Main records without giving Gate some credit for doing it first). So I guess, yeah it's an acquired taste but once it tastes good you really want more. Gorgeous dirty sounds.

I wondered if someone would call me out on that The Dead C. review. You know, I listened to it and I listened to it and during the best moments I could get into it, but during a lot of the rest I felt like I was overhearing the guys down the street from me who thrash away at instruments in their basement to kill the time. I guess I'm just sacrelicious.

A 5 for the one of the most influential bands of our time (Dead C)!!! That's like giving a 5 to a Velvet Underground compilation!!! Blasphemous, I say. Well, at least we know were you stand.
Just to piss you off I'm only taking Dead C and Dead C related records with me to that Desert Island.

One more question. If I was to pick Godspeed You Black Emperor, do you get the work of their other collectives such as A Silver Mt Zion and the like

Good question, i'll need to think about this one long and hard. In regards to Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, I've looking out for them ever since hearing a haunting cover of"Jolene" last year, I might have to invest in this album. Scandinavia is producing an unbelievable amount of top quality artists right now.

jawbreaker, elastica, isis,
gas et al, loscil, arthur russell,
dj shadow, sleater kinney, jan jelinek,
mouse on mars.

but honestly a lot of that music wouldn't quite fit the mood of the island, unless it was somewhere in the most northern latitudes of the world...

sigur ros
do make say think
belle and sebastian
boards of canada
manic street preachers

more or less my favorite artists

- Broken Social Scene
- Mates of State
- Mogwai
- RJD2
- Modest Mouse
- Les Claypool
- Do Make Say Think
- Manitoba (Caribou)
- Sufjan Stevens
- Red Snapper

In no particular order...

Talking Heads - This one is a no-brainer for me. An outstanding catalogue of music, and I get two sweet-ass live albums to boot.

Can - A huge body of work, with the latter stuff not quite hitting the mark all the time, but the first 6 or so albums provide me with so much joy that I couldn't imagine not taking them.

Steve Reich - Another artist with a huge body of work, and while I'm sorta hit-or-miss on liking some of it, his best work knocks me upside the head and makes me feel like I'm ascending somehow.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Loads of music and a range that goes from wild-eyed punk rock to crushing ballads.

Radiohead - While their last one didn't exactly thrill me, their output to date has by and large rocked my world.

Aphex Twin/Richard D. James - Everything from glacial ambience to mind-bending drill and bass workouts. There's some stinkers in there, but his discography as a whole is wide-reaching and excellent.

Brian Eno - From his great vocal work to his massive experiments in ambient music, he's another artist that's across the board and largely outstanding.

Sufjan Stevens - One of my very favorite artists of the past five years. Plus, I've gotta see how far he gets in the 50 states series.

Art Blakey - Probably an odd choice considering all the big name jazz artists that people throw out, but you can't pull me away from "A Night In Tunisia" and "Indestructible" and "Moanin" get me in the right spot too (and he's got a load of other great stuff).

Kronos Quartet - A huge discography of sometimes challenging, nearly always thrilling music that I couldn't live without.